Saturday, November 18, 2017


"You knew, I knew and everybody [familiar with the North Canton Schools (NCCS) levy environment] knew" that the North Canton City Schools levy was going to go down to a massive defeat on the recently concluded November general election.

The Stark County Political Report's pre-election prediction was that Lake Township precincts in the NCCS district would lead-the-way in rejecting the North Canton Board of Education tax play which included a 0.75 "permanent" income tax levy on "earned" income coupled with a $55 million bond issue.

Why so?

Lake Township government in general has no income tax and so to ask part of the electorate to take on such a tax was way out there somewhere in terms of the thinking processes of the North Canton City Schools' administration and school board members Cross, Hunt, Greenwald and VanVranken.

Add to the Lake factor, NCCS Plain Township precincts and one can double down on the obvious impossibility that the income tax part of the levy could pass.

Add to the Lake, Plain factors North Canton most elected city officials (prime examples:  Mayor David Held, Councilmember Mark Cerreta) being especially against the income tax of the combo tax initiative and one can triple down on the obvious impossibility that the income tax part of the levy could pass.

Of course, North Canton officials did have a "dog in this fight."  North Canton city government currently has a 1.5% income tax in effect (the lowest in Stark County and probably in all of Ohio) and undoubtedly wants

  • in light of the pressure of huge state of Ohio local government funding cuts at the hand of Republican governor John Kasich and the supermajority Republican Ohio General Assembly (OGA) beginning with the 2011/2012 state biennium budget to the tune of $1.25 billion across the state,
to preserve as a "safety net" the ability to go to North Canton voters and say:
  • "sorry folks, we have tried to 'hold the fort' on NOT increasing North Canton's income tax but our governor and the supermajority Republican OGA has so gutted state subsidy to Ohio local government that we have no choice but to  ask for more tax revenue so that we can—at the very least—maintain our highly efficient level of local government services,"
Nobody should be surprised at the numbers on the following chart:

As the foregoing graphic shows, Lake Township voters in four of the top voting "no on 44" precincts voted 80%, 75%, 74% and 71%  against the levy package.

And there was some correlation between the levy vote and the battle for a spot going forward on the North Canton Board of Education.

The only incumbent running was board president, Bruce Hunt.

Well, he will be board president no more come January, 2018, to wit:

An irony in comparing the NO on 44 vote to the Stroia victory over incumbent Hunt lies in Hunt doing better than Stroia in the townships.

Apparently, Stroia did a very poor job in communicating to Lake/Plain voters that a vote for Hunt was a vote for a leading proponent of imposing a heretofore non-existing income tax on them.

Clearly the North Canton school administration is out-of-touch with their constituents.

Now the salvage operation begins.

The SCPR is told that the NCCS administration (i.e. Superintendent Jeff Wendorf and his top aides) is putting together a select group of stakeholders which includes Councilman-elect at large Daryl Revoldt and council president Daniel "Jeff" Peters.

The SCPR has also learned that Wendorf has been advised by Stark County education officials to include the core leadership of the "Vote NO on 44" political action committee that in pre-election campaign finance reports put some $6,000 into fighting Issue 44.

It will be interesting to see who makes the "final list" of deemed to be players on the matter of North Canton City Schools finances.

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